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  • Writer's pictureMahi Poodari

Sleep and Mental Health



According to Harvard Health, Daylight savings can affect “our circadian rhythms, the body's natural 24-hour cycles regulating key functions like appetite, mood, and sleep.” With the recent daylight savings change, we hope that our tips will help provide you with a good night's sleep. 

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Why does daylight savings affect our bodies? Because the mornings will be darker, there will be a decrease in the neurotransmitter, serotonin. Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter, a chemical messenger, that helps regulate the body. For example, serotonin helps stabilize your digestive system, mood, and sleep.


You may be asking yourself: why is sleep so important? Not only does sleep help one’s overall brain function, but it also serves as a drainage system to release toxins (Nedergaard). This release of toxins reduces the risk of being diagnosed with a disease such as Alzheimer's.  Therefore, Getting a good night's rest is important, as it is optimal for repairing the body. Here are tips to help practice good sleep hygiene. 


Tips (Sleep Foundation)

  1. Treat sleep as a priority. To do this, you must not procrastinate assignments late into the night and cut screen time before bed.

  2. Receive daylight exposure, as this will help regulate the body’s circadian rhythm 

  3. Have a consistent night routine and sleep schedule

  4. Make sure to have comfortable bedding

  5. Do regular exercises

  6. Avoid nicotine and caffeine 

  7. Do not eat large amounts of food. This could cause heartburn and acid reflux.  

  8. Limit electronic use 

  9. Keep naps short (20 minutes is ideal)

  10. Ask a doctor if you are having trouble sleeping or try melatonin supplements 


It is helpful to follow these tips, as a reduced amount of sleep can affect mental health and your day-to-day life as a student or a worker. It can be difficult to complete tasks, make decisions, or manage your emotions without the appropriate amount of sleep (NIH). In addition to these challenges, lower sleep is also linked to depression and suicide. (NIH). To conclude, we hope that these tips help improve your sleep habits as well as educate you on the importance of sleep. 


Sources:


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